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Article: Sacredness and the ritual process in collective action: The 1989 Chinese student movement

TitleSacredness and the ritual process in collective action: The 1989 Chinese student movement
Authors
Issue Date1999
Citation
Bulletin Of Concerned Asian Scholars, 1999, v. 31 n. 1, p. 3-12 How to Cite?
AbstractThe 1989 Chinese student movement in Beijing captured the attention of the world. Student activities began with the death of the former Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang in mid-April and ended in a bloody crackdown on 4 June 1989. The movement has given rise to a number of scholarly works that have attempted to explain the outbreak of the movement, the scale of public involvement, and the resulting crackdown. The movement has been explained mainly in terms of changes in the social and economic environment, power struggles at the top echelons, and value conflicts between the students and the authorities. This paper explains the scale of mobilization and the crackdown from a cultural perspective. Acknowledging that Pye, Esherick and Wasserstrom, Calhoun, and Pieke have all taken culture seriously in their studies of the movement, this paper makes use of Victor Turner's concept of the ritual process to present an alternative to these other studies. The paper argues that by leading society through a ritual process, the students were able to attach a sense of sacredness to themselves. This change in the status of the students was, however, double-edged. Beijingers were willing to risk their lives to protect these 'sanctified' students, but this change reinforced the determination of the authorities to put an end to the movement so as to crush the sacredness associated with the students.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/171810
ISSN
2002 Impact Factor: 0.062
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Een_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-10-30T06:17:40Z-
dc.date.available2012-10-30T06:17:40Z-
dc.date.issued1999en_US
dc.identifier.citationBulletin Of Concerned Asian Scholars, 1999, v. 31 n. 1, p. 3-12en_US
dc.identifier.issn0007-4810en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/171810-
dc.description.abstractThe 1989 Chinese student movement in Beijing captured the attention of the world. Student activities began with the death of the former Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang in mid-April and ended in a bloody crackdown on 4 June 1989. The movement has given rise to a number of scholarly works that have attempted to explain the outbreak of the movement, the scale of public involvement, and the resulting crackdown. The movement has been explained mainly in terms of changes in the social and economic environment, power struggles at the top echelons, and value conflicts between the students and the authorities. This paper explains the scale of mobilization and the crackdown from a cultural perspective. Acknowledging that Pye, Esherick and Wasserstrom, Calhoun, and Pieke have all taken culture seriously in their studies of the movement, this paper makes use of Victor Turner's concept of the ritual process to present an alternative to these other studies. The paper argues that by leading society through a ritual process, the students were able to attach a sense of sacredness to themselves. This change in the status of the students was, however, double-edged. Beijingers were willing to risk their lives to protect these 'sanctified' students, but this change reinforced the determination of the authorities to put an end to the movement so as to crush the sacredness associated with the students.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.relation.ispartofBulletin of Concerned Asian Scholarsen_US
dc.titleSacredness and the ritual process in collective action: The 1989 Chinese student movementen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailChan, E:elaine_chan@hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityChan, E=rp00576en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0032795446en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-0032795446&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume31en_US
dc.identifier.issue1en_US
dc.identifier.spage3en_US
dc.identifier.epage12en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridChan, E=13205670900en_US

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